Papi apologizes, blames Gregg for melee

Papi apologizes, blames Gregg for melee

BOSTON -- After throwing a few punches at Kevin Gregg during the Red Sox's 10-3 win over the Orioles on Friday night, David Ortiz spoke about the incident on Saturday, saying he wasn't proud of his actions but Gregg deserves the blame for starting the fight.

"I feel like I was pushed last night to do something like that," said Ortiz, who charged Gregg after Baltimore's closer yelled a few unkind words his way following an eighth-inning fly out. "This is a guy that I always face, and he never pitches in. He throws a whole bunch of pitches inside, and I'm pretty sure he was trying to hit me. No question about that. After I hit the fly ball, he started screaming at me. I'm not going to take that.

"You saw the argument before, and after that, you are going to act like you are my daddy or something like that? I'm not going to take that. Everybody is a grown man here, and if you want to have respect, you have to respect [others]."

Gregg said Friday that he was simply trying to throw three straight pitches to Ortiz inside, which is the best place to get him out, adding that the Red Sox "think they are better than everybody else." But Ortiz said he respects everybody in the league the same way.

"If you're getting your [butt] kicked, there ain't nothing you can do but play better," said Ortiz, who was ejected along with Gregg after the scrum. "If you want to act stupid out there just because you're getting beat up, there's a reason why you're getting beat up. You're not playing the game the way it's supposed to be [played]. Play the game the way it's supposed to be and you're not going to get beat up.

"But don't be blaming it on, 'You guys think you're better than us.' I have a lot of friends on that ballclub. I don't like to be going through a situation like that. This is horrible. It's not like we're trying to show up nobody. You play the game. We got our [butts] kicked in the beginning of the season, we don't blame nobody but us. Then we start figuring things out and play better. Nobody here is looking over their shoulder at no one. Play the game right and you earn respect."

The Orioles were not pleased with several things the Sox did leading up to the eighth-inning event, including former pitcher Matt Albers pumping his fist and yelling toward the Baltimore dugout following a strikeout.

Ortiz has no intentions of talking to Gregg, saying several times that it was water under the bridge and he wanted to move on. But he did react to Gregg's accusation of Ortiz not running hard enough to first base after hitting a 3-0 fly ball with a seven-run lead.

"When has he been a hitter?" Ortiz said. "When is the last time he swung the bat? He doesn't know anything about that. I mean, when you start situations, you have to be aware of what is coming up next."

Ortiz assumes the league will take some action, though Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he doesn't expect it to happen until after the All-Star break.

Gregg said Saturday that he had no regrets about the incident or what he said and hasn't heard from the league yet either, though he would try to fight any suspension.

"Why should I be [suspended]?" he said. "I didn't hit anybody. I wasn't even trying to hit anybody."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he "may have something to say about it depending on what's put down, I could tell you that. I was real adamant with umpires. A lot of the things are going to be on how they are going to write the report. In talking to them last night, I think it will be pretty favorable on our part."

Ortiz knocked Brad Bergesen out of Friday's game with a bruised right forearm after he drilled a line drive back up the middle that knocked Bergesen to the ground. The All-Star slugger was sure to check on the O's pitcher afterward.

"You don't want to be seeing anybody getting hurt or fighting nobody," Ortiz said. "This is not boxing. This is baseball. When I saw Bergey getting hit, I even talked to him on the phone to make sure he was fine. You don't want to be seeing that. It's not part of the game."

Ortiz, who said he hasn't fought since kindergarten, is hoping the situation is done and both sides can move on.

"I apologized to everyone for the situation -- even to [the Orioles]," he said. "I have a lot of friends on that ballclub -- even Gregg. I don't really know him, but he doesn't seem like he's any crazy person out there. Situations happen. I'm not happy about it. This is not what people come to see in the field. Hopefully we can stay away from that and turn the page."

Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.